Now that the trial of Derek Chauvin is over, you might think that the autonomous zone, which grew up around the memorial to George Floyd in Minneapolis, would be done; that the folks in the zone might have packed up and gone home, now that they have a verdict.
Activists in George Floyd 'autonomous zone' in Minneapolis refuse to leave after Chauvin verdict https://t.co/ChzXdwRqVu
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 22, 2021
As Fox reported, the area they renamed George Floyd Square has been blocked since late May, after it became a memorial area. City leaders said in February that after the Chauvin trial was over, that area would be opening back up. Mayor Jacob Frey said that the barricades were being used to hide illicit activity and the police had to be able to enter the area.
This is a pretty horrible report of a little bit of what’s has gone on in the area, where there’s been criminal activity and the inability to enter by both police and other first responders. You can see how even the reporter can’t get in past the barricades and is met by activist security folks.
The George Floyd memorial is an "autonomous zone" with several blocks controlled by activists. Police don't even go in. We tried to respectfully get video-but left after two people confronted us near the barricades.
Later learned many protestors don't even feel comfortable there. pic.twitter.com/5w32fxQ0hR
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) March 10, 2021
But the activists have announced that they’re not going away, at least not until the city complies with their list of two dozen demands.
— Twin Cities Encampment Responders (@TCparkresponder) April 22, 2021
They said they intended to stay at least through the August trial of the other three officers involved in the detention of George Floyd.
“The current state of the intersection known as George Floyd Square is contributing to the peace and safety of the surrounding neighborhoods,” the statement reads, in part. “Amid ongoing threats of White Supremacist violence, in the absence of justice, the barricades and community structures at 38th and Chicago should remain through the trial of all four officers. It’s problematic to misconstrue police brutality as progress toward racial healing.”
On top of all the other things that the regular folks who live there have had to put up with during the occupation of the area, there are “rules” governing the area around the memorial.
White people about to enter George Floyd square are given special instructions pic.twitter.com/3gzpwqUmtS
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) April 21, 2021